The Channel Islands are home to a wealth of fascinating attractions, as you”ll discover when you book a Guernsey holiday. It may not be the largest of the archipelago, but its position between France and the UK means it has a unique blend of cultures and influences.
This can be seen in its architecture, which ranges from Tudor manors to ancient castles. Indeed, there are so many places to see it can be hard deciding which to go to first. The key is to consider your personal interests, and whether you”re passionate about literature, military history or architecture, you”ll find a property to visit that is perfect for you.
Read on for my top tips on places to visit if…
You love poetry
Hauteville House is also know as Victor Hugo House, as it was the poet”s home during his exile from France. Hugo fell in love with Guernsey upon his arrival and in 1856 he bought his own home here – where he was to live out the bulk of his 19 years away from France.
The poet was enchanted by the way Guernsey”s rugged cliffs contrasted with the soft, green countryside inland and it is said to have inspired his work. While living here he wrote and published some of his most famous works, including Les Voix Interieures, Les Chants du Crepuscule and Les Rayons et les Ombres, along with writing some of Les Miserables. Of course, you”ll be familiar with the latter – a tale of poverty and woe set against the backdrop of the French Revolution that was later transformed into a long-running West End musical. The book has been called one of the great novels of the 20th century and has also been adapted for both television and cinema.
In addition to the beautiful house – which you can book a tour of to learn more about Hugo and his work – you should also check out the gardens. These are maintained by the Parisian authorities and are beautiful to take a stroll in the sunshine. Of particular interest are the traditional kitchen gardens that are reminiscent of the poet”s time.
You love military history
If you have a keen interest in military history, a visit to Castle Cornet will be a dream come true for you. This castle has protected the capital St Peter Port for 800 years and makes for a great day out. Situated on top of a rocky mound in the harbour, you”ll see why it was constructed here as it has such a good vantage point to watch out for enemies approaching from the sea.
There”s plenty to enjoy here, from the daily Noon Day Gun that is fired by people dressed as 19th century soldiers, to the four gardens that have been designed to be in keeping with different periods in the castle”s history.
Best of all, there are five museums inside, each focusing on a different area. You can spend time ambling around the Story of Castle Cornet Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum, the 201 Squadron RAF Museum or the Royal Guernsey Militia Museum – or why not check them all out?
You love architecture
Anyone with a passion for architecture must include a stop at Sausmarez Manor on their schedule. The beautiful property features a blend of different architectural styles, with the oldest part being built in the 13th century. Over the years it was extended and added to, so there are also elements of Tudor, Queen Anne, Regency and Victorian designs to be found here.